PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama continues to hold a significant lead over John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, 49% to 43%.
This is based on interviewing conducted Sept. 27-29, spanning an intense period of negotiations over an historical financial recovery package in Congress on Friday and Saturday, news of a tentative agreement on the package on Sunday, and then collapse of the bill when it came to the House floor on Monday. It also represents the first report including three full days of tracking following Friday night's presidential debate.
Today's results mark the fourth straight day Obama has held a five percentage point or better lead over McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, and two full weeks since McCain last had any advantage over Obama in national voter preferences. McCain held a slim lead over Obama for several days following the Republican National Convention in early September, but that quickly evaporated with the Wall Street financial crisis that began with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on Sept. 15. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
Upper Limit for Obama?
Although support for Obama among national registered voters hit the 50% mark in the past two days of Gallup Poll Daily tracking (he initially attained 50% in early September), he has yet to cross that symbolic threshold. The importance of this, however, is unclear. Gallup's historical trial heat trends show that the winners in 1988, 2000 -- both years with minimal third party candidate support suppressing the vote for the major party candidates -- rarely attained 50% or greater support from registered voters prior to Gallup's final pre-election poll.
Voter support for George W. Bush only once exceeded 50% in his 2004 campaign against John Kerry, that being 53% in mid-September. In 1988, George H.W. Bush reached or surpassed the 50% mark once at the very beginning and then not again until the last two weeks of the campaign. -- Lydia Saad
(Click here to see how the race currently breaks down by demographic subgroup.)
For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.
The general election results are based on combined data from Sept. 27-29, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,729 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
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